We are not working with Russian mercenaries to hunt for Kony- ICC

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We are not working with Russian mercenaries to hunt for Kony- ICC
ICC Registrar Osvaldo Zavala Giler.

The International Criminal Court has denied claims it is working with Russian mercenary group, Wagner to hunt for Lord’s Resistance Army commander, Joseph Kony.

“We are not cooperating with any of those(Wagner) groups in relation to this. We are however working very hard with state parties and the Ugandan government to try to secure the arrest and prosecution to ICC of Joseph Kony,” said Osvaldo Zavala Giler, the ICC registrar.

He was speaking to journalists as part of his visit to Uganda.

Last month, the media reported that Kony had survived by a whisker, an attack on one of his camps in the Central African Republic by Wagner group.

According to American magazine, Rolling Stone, there was a bloody near-capture of Kony by mercenaries working for Wagner group and collaborating interviews by the magazine on members of a rebel group who said witnessed the April, 7 attack said “at least four people including two civilians and two Wagner were killed.”

However, responding to questions from journalists in this line, the ICC registrar, Osvaldo Zavala Giler said they only work with state parties.

“The ICC has continued seeking cooperation of all relevant authorities and state parties to surrender Joseph Kony.”

Wagner is a Russian state-funded private military company.

ICC issued an arrest warrant against Kony 19 years ago in 2005.

Speaking on Tuesday, the ICC registrar said they are have started the process that would culminate into the trial of the LRA rebel commander.

“All reasonable steps to inform Kony of his charges have been taken but under the prevailing circumstances, he has not yet been able to get arrested or hand himself over,” he said.

Osvaldo said the confirmation of charges procedure has kicked off  as part of the pre-trial for Kony.

“It is not a trial since the case is still under pre-trial.It is a public preliminary hearing to or not confirm any of the charges brought by the prosecutor against Kony. He is presumed innocent until proven guilty. This can happen in the absence of Kony. However, if the case goes for trial, it can’t happen in absence of Kony,” the registrar said.

He also noted that the office of the registrar has started the process to appoint a defence lawyer to represent Kony to represent him during the pre-trial in his absence .

The ICC registrar however said Kony’s trial will not kick off in his absence.

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